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pH and nutrient availability to your orchids

This is a discussion on pH and nutrient availability to your orchids within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by Halloamey I hope cleaning up the brain splatter was not much work ...

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  1. #11
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    madphrag is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    I hope cleaning up the brain splatter was not much work Mitch LOL ! To make things simple for you what I mean is that, adjusting pH can or cannot be a good idea. The products that lower or increase the pH are also some kind of salts, so they will increase the salt content (total dissolved solids) in your water, so even then the plants cannot absorb the nutrients even if the pH is right. On the contrary high salt concentration will harm your orchids more than just the plain water without the right pH.
    To sum it up, the only real way to make adjustments, is to start with the purest water possible like rain water, distilled water or RO water and add the ions you need in the right amounts. Unlike in India where I have the best water source for my orchids, here in Bremen the water is very hard (pH 7) but about 200 mg/l of dissolved solids. So I dilute 1 part of this water with 2 parts RO water and then add 0.5 gm of fertilizer, this works for me. Try and keep the starting water free of salts.
    Now that I've cleaned up all that gray matter off of my desk, , I will assume that the only way to simplify this problem is to go with R/O and preferably a 5 stage system. I've been kicking this around for some time now because all of my Phragmipediums have been suffering leaf tip burning which I understand is caused from impurities, especially salts, in the tap water I have to use. And, yes, I have been using a phosphoric acid product to correct pH.

  2. #12
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    Germinatorman is offline Senior Member
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    While many pH Down products may be phosphoric acid buffered with potassium phosphate, the product that I use is not, it is Nitric Acid. It is a stronger solution and takes about 1/3 less product than the phosphoric acid buffered with potassium phosphate.

  3. #13
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    My ph is just a little under 7. Also, just wanted to say Thanks You, Amey for bringing this up and making us all THINK about how we are watering our precious orchids! Betty :-)

  4. #14
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    Don, that is a really dangerous substance you are handling. Just a few drops here and there could be disastrous. Yes it would be a good pH down product, but again I would first check the total dissolved solids as making the water acidic won`t help much if the osmotic pressure is other way.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by espranch View Post
    My ph is just a little under 7. Also, just wanted to say Thanks You, Amey for bringing this up and making us all THINK about how we are watering our precious orchids! Betty :-)
    I must thank you, Bruce and all the others for giving me the opportunity. Anyways I would like to really thank Don for bringing up this topic, as this is one of the most basic, yet, so poorly understood of all.

  6. #16
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    I just built a rainwater collection barrel, catching all the rain coming off the greenhouse roof. I check the pH every so often and its at 6.0, I check my tap water out of curiosity sometimes it runs 7.5-8.5. If I run out of rain water I use distilled water. Thanks Amey, for the expert advice!

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